Is Lendl a three-era player?

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
His career has a massive overlap with SO many great players of different eras.

He's a partial contemporary of Borg, a full contemporary of Connors and Mac and Cash and really reached his zenith as a full contemporary of Becker, Wilander, Edberg. His career seems like it went on forever and spanned a massive amount of time. But, it was 16 years - which, don't get me wrong, was a long time back then. Now it it doesn't seem quite so long.
 

Moose Malloy

G.O.A.T.
His career has a massive overlap with SO many great players of different eras.

He's a partial contemporary of Borg, a full contemporary of Connors and Mac and Cash and really reached his zenith as a full contemporary of Becker, Wilander, Edberg. His career seems like it went on forever and spanned a massive amount of time. But, it was 16 years - which, don't get me wrong, was a long time back then. Now it it doesn't seem quite so long.
Could add that he was a partial contemporary of Agassi, Sampras, Courier, Goran, Chang etc as well. He held his own very well vs them. I don't think the game ever really passed him by, injuries were his downfall. With modern medicine, I could see a healthy Lendl making the semis or finals of majors in 93/94)

Look at how he handled prime Courier at 91 YEC RR(Courier then made the final of the 91 YEC and took Sampras to 4 sets. Hi finished 91 ranked #2 and won Australia in January 92 - so this was a great stretch for him)

 

encylopedia

Professional
Could add that he was a partial contemporary of Agassi, Sampras, Courier, Goran, Chang etc as well. He held his own very well vs them. I don't think the game ever really passed him by, injuries were his downfall. With modern medicine, I could see a healthy Lendl making the semis or finals of majors in 93/94)

Look at how he handled prime Courier at 91 YEC RR(Courier then made the final of the 91 YEC and took Sampras to 4 sets. Hi finished 91 ranked #2 and won Australia in January 92 - so this was a great stretch for him)

Yes, he stomped both Courier and Agassi more than once. He didn't play Jim much, but he beat Andre several times, and Agassi did not beat Lendl until Lendl was already struggling with injury. In Agassi's first victory at the Canadian, it still went 3 sets, and Agassi had been playing phenomenally in that tourney, having just won Wimbledon. He was very confident, and Lendl was just returning from injury.
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Chang also struggled againast him, but of course had that famous FO win....the toughest of the big 4 Americans for Lendl was Sampras - and they had some pitched battles as well. Pete and Lendl respected each other having a bit of a relationship (Lendl having used him as a practice partner once), and even Pete admitted that by the time he played Lendl at the USO he felt Lendl had dropped just a tiny bit from his peak. (thus young Pete felt he had a real chance) I think it's safe to say that Lendl respected Pete and really had distain for Andre at that time - calling Andre a "forehand and a haircut", while also once telling the press that he felt it was disgusting that a guy who behaves well, dresses well, and plays good tennis (Pete) garners little attention....

Lendl at his peak would certainly have been a top competitor in any era.
 

encylopedia

Professional
Does that make Federer a 4 era player
All depends on how one defines "era". By longevity alone, players like Federer, Agassi, Rosewall, Connors would certainly be 3+ era players based on Lendl being 3. One could easily define 4 "era's" for Federer.
 

Musterrific

Professional
I think it's safe to say that Lendl respected Pete and really had distain for Andre at that time - calling Andre a "forehand and a haircut", while also once telling the press that he felt it was disgusting that a guy who behaves well, dresses well, and plays good tennis (Pete) garners little attention....
I think that was his terse response to being asked by a journalist whether or not he thought it was justified that Sampras was considered a "boring" player by the media.
 
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Deleted member 777746

Guest
I'd say he was bordering on a 4 era player, since he was a real competitor of Pete and Andre in their pre-prime/early prime years as well
 
Who isn't a three-era player? Most players start their careers against the previous generation, play their own generation, and then play the kids from the next generation. Borg would be one of the few two-era players.
 

encylopedia

Professional
I think that was his terse response to being asked by a journalist whether or not he thought it was justified that Sampras was considered a "boring" player by the media.
NO. Lendl started said that when asked about Agassi - actually long before the media was addressing Sampras. On the subject of Pete being boring, Lendl had a different response.
 

flanker2000fr

Hall of Fame
I think what was remarkable was his ability to win so consistently in such a strongly competitive era, for so long, and against such a variety of playing styles (grinders, aggressive baseliners, serve / volley players).
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
he did have a long career near the top, unlike alot of players that fizzled
out after 8 years or so at that time... the only thing that really stopped him
from continuing was that back injury...
agassi, connors, and federer are still a level above him in longevity tho..

NO. Lendl started said that when asked about Agassi - actually long before the media was addressing Sampras. On the subject of Pete being boring, Lendl had a different response.
i think i remember lendl saying something like if he had a kid he'd rather he turn out like pete than andre or something like that...
 

encylopedia

Professional
he did have a long career near the top, unlike alot of players that fizzled
out after 8 years or so at that time... the only thing that really stopped him
from continuing was that back injury...
agassi, connors, and federer are still a level above him in longevity tho..



i think i remember lendl saying something like if he had a kid he'd rather he turn out like pete than andre or something like that...
Yes, and he also said that it was sickening that a person who dresses well, plays well, and acts reasonably is called boring by the media.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Federer is a 4 Generation player

1st Gen - He played the gen before him, greats of the 90s, Sampras, Agassi, Henman, Goran, Kuerten etc etc
2nd Gen - He played his own generation of 00s greats, Safin, Roddick, Hewitt, Nalbandian etc etc
3rd Gen - He played the next gen of 2010s greats - Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Potro, Cilic, Thiem etc etc
4th Gen - He played the future gen of the 2020s - Medvedev, Tsistipas, Rublev, SInner, Felix etc etc

Similar to Sachin Tendulkar of Cricket and Sir Garfield Sobers as well.

Sachin played Marshall/Imran/Hadlee etc etc at the beginning of his career
Then he played McGrath, Waqar, Donald etc etc of the 90s
Then he played Steyn, Akhtar, Lee, Anderson etc etc of the 2000s
Then he played Starc, Lyons, Pattinson, trent Boult etc etc of the modern times
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
By my count, Lendl had an impressive 35-16 head to head against the best players from the next generation:

Sampras 3-5
Agassi 6-2
Courier 4-0
Chang 5-2
Stich 6-1
Ivanisevic 5-1
Muster 4-1
Bruguera 1-1
Krajicek 1-2
Rafter 0-1

He had victories over Sampras on carpet in 1993, over Ivanisevic on carpet in 1992, over Muster and Bruguera on clay in 1992 and over Stich on clay in Germany in 1993.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
By my count, Lendl had an impressive 35-16 head to head against the best players from the next generation:

Sampras 3-5
Agassi 6-2
Courier 4-0
Chang 5-2
Stich 6-1
Ivanisevic 5-1
Muster 4-1
Bruguera 1-1
Krajicek 1-2
Rafter 0-1

He had victories over Sampras on carpet in 1993, over Ivanisevic on carpet in 1992, over Muster and Bruguera on clay in 1992 and over Stich on clay in Germany in 1993.
Lendl had by far the toughest competition any ATG has had. Certainly tougher than the Big 3.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
By my count, Lendl had an impressive 35-16 head to head against the best players from the next generation:

Sampras 3-5
Agassi 6-2
Courier 4-0
Chang 5-2
Stich 6-1
Ivanisevic 5-1
Muster 4-1
Bruguera 1-1
Krajicek 1-2
Rafter 0-1

He had victories over Sampras on carpet in 1993, over Ivanisevic on carpet in 1992, over Muster and Bruguera on clay in 1992 and over Stich on clay in Germany in 1993.
lendl did really well against the players of the next generation (there was such a generation, at the time). ;)
impressive champion...
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Wouldn’t go that far, each of the big 3 would have like 30+ slams by now if not for the other two
Well, they haven't had anyone come after them so they've been able to more or less sweep the slams left, right and center in the last 5 years.

Lendl, OTOH, never caught a break. Each generation he dealt with was great.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Well, they haven't had anyone come after them so they've been able to more or less sweep the slams left, right and center in the last 5 years.

Lendl, OTOH, never caught a break. Each generation he dealt with was great.
Federer and Nadal probably would've had GOAT-like careers anyways since they had already won around 14 slams by the time they were like 28 before all the "when are new players going to take over" talk began. Novak on the other hand did catch quite a break by no one coming after though.

If you replaced Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov with Wilander, Edberg and Becker (the three younger ATGs Lendl dealt with) in the mid 2010s when Novak was 27 and had "only" won around 6-7 majors at the time. There's a chance we may not be discussing about him in the GOAT convo today if the lost gen ended up being another strong gen.
 

Crazy Finn

Hall of Fame
Wouldn’t go that far, each of the big 3 would have like 30+ slams by now if not for the other two
True, but their only consistent competition for a decade has been each other (with some sprinklings of Murray and Stan for stretches).
Well, they haven't had anyone come after them so they've been able to more or less sweep the slams left, right and center in the last 5 years.

Lendl, OTOH, never caught a break. Each generation he dealt with was great.
ATG if not outright GOAT (at the time) candidates in the previous (Borg) and following (Sampras) not to mention basically playing the entire Open-Era Only ATG list minus the Big 3 during his career.

Pre-Big 3 (Open-Era Only) ATG list: Sampras, Borg, Connors, Agassi, , (Lendl), MacEnroe, Wilander, Edberg, Becker - along with players like Vilas and Courier. Lendl literally played them all. He only missed out on the Newcombe, Rosewall, Laver generation for the most part.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Federer and Nadal probably would've had GOAT-like careers anyways since they had already won around 14 slams by the time they were like 28 before all the "when are new players going to take over" talk began. Novak on the other hand did catch quite a break by no one coming after though.

If you replaced Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov with Wilander, Edberg and Becker (the three younger ATGs Lendl dealt with) in the mid 2010s when Novak was 27 and had "only" won around 6-7 majors at the time. There's a chance we may not be discussing about him in the GOAT convo today if the lost gen ended up being another strong gen.
Very good point, thats what I have said all along, instead of Thiem/Kyrgios/Dimitrov if it was Lendl/Wilander/Edberg then Novak would have found it very tough to even get into double digits.

Federer and Nadal would also have not reached 20, they would both have stopped around 17-18.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
True, but their only consistent competition for a decade has been each other (with some sprinklings of Murray and Stan for stretches).

ATG if not outright GOAT (at the time) candidates in the previous (Borg) and following (Sampras) not to mention basically playing the entire Open-Era Only ATG list minus the Big 3 during his career.

Pre-Big 3 (Open-Era Only) ATG list: Sampras, Borg, Connors, Agassi, , (Lendl), MacEnroe, Wilander, Edberg, Becker - along with players like Vilas and Courier. Lendl literally played them all. He only missed out on the Newcombe, Rosewall, Laver generation for the most part.
That's crazy.
 

BGod

Legend
IMO it's stretching things.

True era determination is when players are winning. By the time Sampras/Agassi/Courier were consistently winning Lendl was done and saying he was a contemporary of Borg just because he played him in the 1981 French final years before he himself won a Slam is also hyperbole.

Lendl played 2 eras. Against McEnroe/Wilander/Connors & Becker/Edberg.

Federer is 3. His era of Roddick/Safin/Hewitt, then Nadal/Novak/Murray/Wawrinka/Cilic and Lost Gen of Raonic/Thiem/Schwartzman/Nishikori/Dimitrov
 
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